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    Live Updates: Turkey Conducts Offensive in Syria for 5th Day Amid Growing Pushback

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    Ankara is pressing forward with its military operation in northern Syria despite harsh criticism from the EU, the United States and the Arab League, who are considering possible sanctions and diplomatic measures against the country.

    The Turkish military and local fighters supported by Ankara continue to move ahead with "Operation Peace Spring" in Syria, aimed against the Daesh* terrorist group and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). A day earlier saw battles in the border city of Ras al-Ayn, as both Turkey and the SDF claimed they had gained control over its centre. According to Ankara, its forces have neutralised 415 militants since the start of the op.

    The ground offensive was announced earlier this week by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who vowed to continue it despite major pushback from the EU, the US, and Arab States.

    Local residents applaud as a convoy of Turkish forces trucks transporting tanks is driven in Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, at the border with Syria
    © AP Photo / Lefteris Pitarakis
    Local residents applaud as a convoy of Turkish forces trucks transporting tanks is driven in Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, at the border with Syria

    According to his Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the op was launched under Article 51 of the UN Charter and UN Security Council Resolutions regarding the fight against terrorism because Turkey considers the Kurdish troops to be affiliated with Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) that Ankara has blacklisted as a terror organisation.

    Damascus, however, stressed that the operation is another violation of Syria's sovereignty. The Arab League also opposed Ankara on the issue and is considering halting military cooperation and lowering of diplomatic ties with Turkey. At the same time, France and Germany have already halted arms exports to Ankara, urging the Middle Eastern country to stop the offensive.

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    • 02:51

      France to Ensure Safety of Its Military, Civilian Personnel in Northern Syria In 'Coming Hours'

      French President Emmanuel Macron

      France to Ensure Safety of Its Military, Civilian Personnel in Northern Syria In 'Coming Hours'

      France suspended arms sales to Turkey on Saturday over Ankara's ongoing military incursion into the northern part of Syria, which was earlier condemned by the nation's president, Emmanuel Macron.
      Read more
    • 00:16

      Dozens Rally in DC Calling for Recognition of Kurdish-Led Forces in Syria as Terrorists - Video

      Dozens of people on Sunday, 13 October 2019, gathered in the vicinity of the White House in Washington DC to protest the Trump administration's stance on the ongoing Turkish military offensive in northern Syria.

      Video: Dozens Rally in DC Calling to Stop 'PKK-YPG-Daesh Terror' in Syria

      Dozens of people on Sunday gathered in the vicinity of the White House in Washington DC to protest the Trump administration's stance on the ongoing Turkish military offensive in northern Syria.
      Read more
    • 23:36

      US Observation Post in Syria's Aleppo Evacuated

      According to the Turkish military, one of the US observation points in southern Ayn Al-Arab district of Syria's Aleppo has been evacuated. There has been no statement issued on the reason for the evacuation so far.

    • 22:28

      Russian Military Warns Daesh Terrorists May Flee SDF Detention Amid Turkey's Operation

      Daesh (IS, ISIS banned in Russia) terrorists, who are held at seven prisons controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), may flee the detention facilities amid Turkey's offensive in northern Syria, provoking a sharp escalation of the situation in the entire Middle East, Maj. Gen. Alexey Bakin, head of the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation said on Sunday.

      According to the official's data, SDF guards seven Daesh prisons and at least eight camps housing temporarily displaced persons, including terrorist families.

      "The possible exit of terrorists from detention can provoke a sharp deterioration of the situation in the entire Middle East region. All parties to the Syrian settlement must take measures to prevent this scenario," Bakin said.

      The official also estimates that lives of at least 120,000 people, who are staying at eight SDF-controlled camps for temporarily displaced persons in northern Syria, are at risk amid the Turkish offensive.

    • 22:16

      Kurdish-Led Administration, Damascus Agree to Deploy Syrian Troops Along Turkish Border, Repel Ankara's Offensive

      The Syrian army conducts mine clearance outside the town of Khan Sheikhoun after its liberation, Idlib province, Syria

      Kurdish-Led Administration, Damascus Agree to Deploy Syrian Troops Along Turkish Border

      Kurdish-led authorities in the northern part of Syria have reached an agreement with the Syrian government in Damascus to deploy Syrian forces along the entire Turkish border to assist in repelling an ongoing military operation by Ankara.
      Read more
    • 21:26

      Syrian Army Enters Manbij, North of Aleppo, to Take it Under Control - Reports

    • 21:07

      'What Is This Sh*t?': Syrian Kurds Learnt About US Pull-Out From Twitter – Report

      Members of the special forces of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are pictured during preparations to join the front against Turkish forces, on October 10, 2019

      'What Is This Sh*t?': Syrian Kurds Learnt About US Pull-Out From Twitter – Report

      Two days ahead of the start of the Turkish military operation against Syrian Kurds, the US announced that it would be withdrawing its troops from the area in order to avoid getting caught in the cross-fire between the warring parties. Some, however, including the Kurds, saw this as a "betrayal" of groups that had helped the US fight Daesh*.
      Read more
    • 20:51

      US Army Leaves Ain Issa Area in Syria

      A Sputnik correspondent has reported that the US Army has temporarily left the Ain Issa area east of Tell Abiad because of the Turkish offensive against Kurdish groups in north-eastern Syria. The troops were withdrawn in order to avoid coming under Turkish fire. According to the reporter, the troops were evacuated to military bases in the Syrian province of Raqqa.

      The United States has also evacuated its military base in Jalabiya in the Syrian province of Raqqa, Syrian state TV reported.

    • 20:35

      Macron to Hold Emergency Cabinet Meeting to Discuss Turkey Offensive - Elysee

    • 20:25

      Free Syrian Army Raises Their Flag at Entrance to Tell Abiad

      © Sputnik / Hikmet Durgun
    • 20:17

      French President Macron Says He Made it Clear to Erdogan, Trump That Turkish Operation in Syria 'Must Stop'

      "We have a common desire that this offensive ends", Emmanuel Macron said, standing alongside Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel. "This offensive risks creating an unsustainable humanitarian situation and help Daesh re-emerge in the region".

    • 20:16

      Syrian Army Begins to Move Troops to Face ‘Turkish Army Aggression’ in Northern Syria - Reports

      © Sputnik / Hikmet Durgun

      The Syrian government has started moving troops to the country's north, where the Turkish military operation Peace Spring is underway, in order to confront Turkey’s aggression, the Syrian news agency SANA reported.

    • 19:47

      Erdogan Says Turkey Has No Problems With Russia on Situation in Syria, Maintains Constant Contact With Putin

      "The Sochi Agreement [with the Russian Federation on Syria’s Idlib] is being successfully implemented as a result of our meetings in Tehran and Ankara. We are not talking about any problems with Russia. We are in touch with President Putin. If there is a question, we can negotiate and accept within 24 hours a joint decision on the steps to be taken", Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul, as quoted by Anadolu.

    • 19:13

      Reports of Daesh Prisoners Escaping Are ‘Disinformation’ - Erdogan

      "They continuously broadcast disinformation about Daesh terrorists having fled the prison. They do it to incite the United States and the West. The leaders with whom I am in touch ask me about it all the time", Erdogan said at a press encounter in Istanbul.

      The camp, located seven miles south of the Turkish border, is home to 7,000 displaced persons, among whom 785 are suspected members of Daesh. On Friday, the Kurdish administration announced plans to evacuate the camp's residents and move them to al-Arisha camp, south of the city of Hassakah.

    • 18:53

      Syrian Army Will Enter SDF-Held Town of Ain Arab and Manbij in 48 Hours - Lebanese Broadcaster

    • 17:58

      Erdogan Says 18 Civilians Killed in Shelling of Turkish Settlements Near Border With Syria

      "The total number of terrorists that have been neutralised during Operation Peace Spring is 490, of them 440 were killed. The near-border settlements of Turkey have been targeted by mortar and rocket attacks from Syria 652 times. During the shelling of our towns by terrorists, 18 civilians have been killed and 147 injured", Erdogan said in a television statement to the NTV broadcaster.

      Two Turkish servicemen and 16 militants with the opposition Syrian National Army were killed during the military operation, Erdogan added.

    • 15:55

      Merkel Urges Erdogan to Immediately End Turkey’s Offensive in Syria

      In a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel "spoke in favour of an immediate end to the military operation", her office said in a statement.

    • 15:52

      Ankara Says it Has Taken Control of Major Highway in Northern Syria After Battles With Kurdish Forces

      Turkish forces have seized control of Syria's M4 highway, some 30-35 kilometres (19-22 miles) inside Syrian territory, as part of their offensive against Kurdish militants in north-eastern Syria, Turkey's Defence Ministry said on Twitter.

    • 15:46

      Washington Says Reports of Female Kurdish Politician Being Killed in Northeast Syria 'Extremely Troubling'

      "We find these reports to be extremely troubling, reflecting the overall destabilisation of northeast Syria since the commencement of hostilities on Tuesday", a State Department spokesman said in a comment. The official added that Washington denounces any abuse and extrajudicial execution of civilians or prisoners, and is looking further into the circumstances of the incident.

      Kurdish Female Leader Ambushed and Killed in Syria Amid Turkish Offensive – Report

      Ankara’s forces and its allied fighters have been moving ahead with an operation in Syria targeting Daesh* and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) despite criticism from the EU, the US, and the Arab League. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 38 civilians have been killed since the fighting started five days ago.
      Read more
    • 15:42

      US President Orders American Troops to Relocate in Syria Amid Turkish Offensive - Pentagon Chief

      US Defence Secretary Mark Esper stated that Donald Trump has ordered US forces in Syria to move south of Turkey's attacks against Kurdish forces, but not to leave the country.

      Washington Says Reports of Killing of Kurdish Politician in Northeast Syria 'Extremely Troubling'

      In this photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Suruc, southeastern Turkey, a U.S forces outpost is seen on a hilltop outside Ayn Al Arab or Kobani, Syria, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019.

      US to Pull About 1,000 Troops From Syria's North Due to Turkish Offensive - Pentagon

      The Pentagon earlier confirmed that some Turkish shelling near the city of Kobani in northern Syria was in close proximity to American troops stationed at an observation post there. Washington insists that Ankara was aware of where its troops were located, while Turkey insists that it never intended to attack American forces.
      Read more
    • 14:45

      Turkish Offensive to Go 30-35 Kilometres into Syrian Territory - Erdogan

      Turkish forces have seized control of Syria's M4 highway, some 30-35 kilometres (19-22 miles) inside Syrian territory, as part of their offensive against Kurdish militants in north-eastern Syria, Turkey's Defence Ministry said on Twitter.

    • 14:22

      Kurdish Fighters Say 800 Daesh Terrorists Have Escaped From Camp

      According to the Kurdish administration in northern Syria, several "mercenaries” (which could mean Turkish-backed militants) attacked the facility, while "Daesh elements" assaulted the guards and left the camp.

    • 13:09

      Turkish Army Enters Syria's Tell Abiad, Clashes With Kurdish Self-Defence Forces - Reports

      According to recent reports, Turkish troops, backed by Free Syrian Army (FAS) militants, have entered the city. At the same time, Turkish artillery is firing on Kurdish self-defence fighters.

    • 12:13

      Video From Syrian Border Amid Turkish Military Operation Against SDF

      Turkish artillery fires toward Syrian Kurdish positions in Afrin area, Syria, from Turkish side of the border in Hatay, Turkey, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018

      Video From Syrian Border Amid Turkish Military Operation Against SDF

      During the previous day of battles, the Turkish military and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) clashed in the city of Ras al-Ayn. The militants claim they have hit 7 tanks and killed 75 soldiers, while Turkey claimes that it has neutralised 415 SDF fighters since the start of the op.
      Read more
    • 10:32

      Turkish Forces Seize City of Suluk in Raqqa - Reports

      According to Syrian broadcaster Ikhbariya, on Sunday Turkey occupied the border city of Suluk, which is located in the northeastern part of Raqqa Governorate.

    • 10:21

      Erdogan Tells UK PM Johnson Ankara to Continue Offensive Until Removal of Daesh and PKK Threats

      "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has held a telephone conversation with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The president told Johnson about the goals of Operation Peace Spring and said that it would continue until the terrorist threat posed by the PKK — Syrian Kurds' self-defence forces — and the IS [Daesh] in northern Syria is completely eliminated, allowing the voluntary and safe return of Syrian refugees", the official statement read.

    • 10:00

      Kurdish-led SDF Says Killed 75 Turkish Soldiers, Destroyed 7 Tanks in Ras al-Ayn – Reports

      According to the Firat news agency, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said that they had attacked the Turkish Army in the Syrian city of Ras al-Ayn, leaving 75 soldiers dead and seven tanks destroyed, while 19 more Turkish troops were injured.

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    Live Updates: Turkey Conducts Offensive in Syria for 5th Day Amid Growing Pushback
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